The NFL Draft is officially just one week away. In a world of such uncertainty, the draft brings some semblance of normalcy that everyone craves even if the event will be executed virtually.
Given the unprecedented circumstances of this draft, what is traditionally an unpredictable event will be as difficult to forecast as ever before.
The same holds true for the Denver Broncos. Multiple rumors have swirled around the Broncos' draft pursuits over the last week. Add a new one to the mill on Thursday, courtesy of the Athletic's Michael Lombardi.
Denver is trying to make a deal with Cleveland--which seems like the target team to get ahead of two teams that need a wideout, Jets and Las Vegas.
Despite the unique circumstance, the draft and all the information surrounding the event (as well as misinformation) has not slowed down. Smokescreen season is alive and well in the NFL.
From rumors of the Broncos potentially moving down from 15, looking to land another pick between their 15th and 46th selections, or moving up for a tackle or wide receiver, this time of the year feels like playing a game of two truths and a lie but instead there is one truth and 100 lies.
With the likes of the New York Jets, Las Vegas Raiders, and San Francisco 49ers all picking 11, 12, and 13, respectively, and being heavily linked to the ‘big three’ wide receivers in Henry Ruggs III, CeeDee Lamb, and Jerry Jeudy, it does make some sense for John Elway and the Broncos to use some of their excess capital to at least check the price to move up and secure ‘their guy’ if they have a specific target in mind.
However, with the likes of the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, among other teams, apparently looking to move up in the draft this year, it's hard to project what the exact price to move up in this market may be. While many point to Jimmy Johnson’s famous draft value chart, every year’s draft and the trades involved always fluctuate. A trade is worth exactly what two teams agree upon and that fluctuates year-to-year and team-to-team.
It is always a risky proposition to move up in the draft and surrender top-100 capital, especially for a team like Denver that could use quality depth and young developmental players on its roster. Just two drafts ago, the Arizona Cardinals moved up from 15 to 10 with the (at the time) Oakland Raiders while also giving up a third-(pick 79) and fifth-rounder (pick 152). If the Broncos can secure a move up for a similar price, perhaps it will be worth it.
The draft is an inexact science. From evaluating players to valuing different skill-sets and positions, there is a large amount of volatility in hitting on draft picks. If the Broncos do trade up and land one of the ‘big three’ wide receivers, the trade may have been worth it.
Pairing another great wide receiver with Courtland Sutton, along with Noah Fant and Drew Lock, would be exciting. However, moving up and giving up capital increases risk.
Will Elway move up for a wide receiver like Lombardi suggested? Could it be a tackle like Albert Breer reported early this week? Only time will tell.
It’s lying season, but the truth shall be revealed in one week’s time. In an uncertain time, we can all be thankful for one of the most uncertain events in all of sports — the draft.